Home > Uncategorized > From Cambodia, With Love …

From Cambodia, With Love …

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

On October 13th, four of our members set out on a journey that would take them halfway across the globe to Cambodia. They found Cambodia to be an amazing country of beautiful and welcoming people where most of the residents are subsistence farmers, with 1/3 of the population living on $1 a day. From 1970 through 1990, Cambodia was under the rule of the Khmer Rouge, a communist dictatorship that led to the murder of over two million Cambodians who died from torture, starvation, execution, or exhaustion from work camps. A corrupt government now leans heavily on bribes and extortion to fund their current structure as they have no taxation system set up. Over the last 20 years, the Khmer people have slowly resumed their way of life, but the lingering effects of the Khmer Rouge have resulted in a country that is 30 years behind the rest of the world.

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In Cambodian culture, orphans are viewed as worthless. Because no one cares to raise them, orphans often starve, or are sold into sex trafficking. As Kole, Eddie, Scott and Robyn plus Rob from our sister gym, The Compound, landed, our mission was to impact these people in a very specific way. We partnered with an organization called Foursquare Children of Promise (which has 160 orphan homes throughout the country housing anywhere from 15-30 orphan children at each home). Our team spent a week at one of these orphan homes in the north central portion of the country to specifically show the children present that they are not worthless – they are precious, beautiful, and worth our time.

Throughout the week, we painted the entire orphanage inside and out – two group bedrooms, one spare room, the pastor’s room and the main meeting room. The house was a cheery mix of yellow, blue and green when we were finished! We fenced the entire property, keeping the chickens and dogs in, and any number of threats to the children out. We also built a new room on to the kitchen outbuilding with a new stove and counter set. The team took an offering and was able to purchase new kitchen utensils for the kitchen and a new 100 liter plastic water storage tank (their old one was a clay pot that was cracked). This, of course, was interspersed with playtime with the kids!

The last afternoon we were there, we spent time playing with the kids, shared different fruits (ramutan, lychee, and tamarind) and sticky rice (treats they don’t usually get). We also handed out some gifts they had brought along. Remember the CFE sweatshirt misprint fiasco? All 60 sweatshirts were donated by Jesse and were subsequently transported to Cambodia to be handed out to the orphan kids and staff. They were a hit!

All in all, it was an amazing experience of growth and being blessed by blessing others. That last day, looking at the orphanage and realizing that these kids have the coolest, brightest house on the block communicates to the kids and the village surrounding that these kids are not worthless – they are loved! Hopefully that resonates for a long time, creating strong and self-assured kids who don’t doubt that they are special.

 

Thank you to Jesse Thompson, Jackie Burns, Chris Preti, Karridi and Brandon Mauer, and Joe and Theresa Costanzo for their donations to the trip, and the entire CrossFit family for their support and encouragement. Your giving hearts have directly impacted and changed lives, and we thank you for that! We are truly blessed to know each and every one of you.

– written by Robyn Lang

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